“This desire to say that Charles Manson was a master planner—’a bearded Svengali,’ [as he’s been referred to]—and set about to take very deliberate steps to create a race war, that’s not true,” Chilcott said.
“The point was, these crimes had no motive…and the prosecution doesn’t have to prove motive,” she continued, “but what motive could possibly explain these crimes? The puzzle pieces don’t fit, and I think that’s why we’re still talking about it.”
Journalist and Manson biographer Ivor Davis, who appears in the series, wrote in his 2019 book Manson Exposed: A Reporter’s 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder, “Manson told the killers to stage the Tate-LaBianca murders to look like they were the work of militant Black Panthers. And not because he wanted to start a race war in America, inspired (Manson claimed) by the Beatle lyrics in songs like ‘Helter Skelter,’ ‘Piggies’ and ‘Revolution.’ His hope was the police would release Robert.”
“Robert” was Robert Beausoleil, a friend of the “family” who had been arrested for the July 27, 1969, murder of music teacher Gary Hinman. Beausoleil, who remains in prison for the crime, had originally gone to Hinman’s home to get money, having purchased what turned out to be faulty drugs on behalf of the Straight Satans, a biker gang that was hanging out with the family at Spahn Ranch. The Satans were serious about wanting their money back, but Hinman didn’t have it.